Wednesday 6 January will forever be remembered as Trump’s Insurrection Riot Day. It is the day that he wound MAGA Nation up, pointed them at Congress, and let them go to wreck mischief and mayhem. What he didn’t know — I’m convinced of it — was that various militia, Boogaloo Bois, and Proud Boys groups had made plans to use the mob as cover to advance their own nefarious operations namely accelerating the beginning of the race war, and overthrowing the national government.
There is solid evidence that they were planning on detaining Congress people and assassinating them. Namely, they were chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” had erected a gallows outside and had hung a noose from a tree. Then, there were the pictures of the young men running around with zip-tie flexicuffs. Most of the boys with the cuffs concealed their identities with hats and masks. Most of them. Others were too stupid or over confident to.
Share your thoughts on Trump’s Insurrection Riot in the comments!
This is the introductory post of a three part series explaining the deep culture of our racist culture here in America and how the struggle to keep Trump in office is just the latest chapter in the damage that white supremacy has done to our country. In this post, we’ll cover some background information defining deep culture and the relationship between racism and Trump’s Big Lie that the election was stolen from him. Part 2 will examine the deep roots that racism has in our deep culture because of Puritanism and Calvinism. And part 3 will demonstrate how the failures of Reconstruction led us to Trump’s Insurrection Riot. Sounds like fun, right?
The Long History of Racism and White Supremacy in the US
The insurrection is the latest chapter in the one constant in the history of the United States is the fight over how white people should treat black people. Our choices seem to be (a) slavery, (b) abject poverty, (c) exclusion from the body politic, or (d) all of the above. The discrimination against and racism towards black people is so significant that it has become part of the deep culture of America, especially white America.
White supremacy is so entrenched in America’s deep culture that we fought a Civil War over it. You might think that woulda settled it, but it didn’t. While it did eliminate slavery, the struggle over the oppression of Black people never ended. The struggle over the very humanity of Blacks continues to this day because white supremacy is deeply embedded in the psyche of white America. Like a bad C and W song, we just can’t seem to quit racism.
A Deep Culture of Racism and White Supremacy
Deep culture is “the unconscious frameworks of meaning, values, norms and hidden assumptions that we use to interpret our experience.” Because these values, norms, and assumptions are hidden from our conscious awareness, we do not know when they exert themselves. It is that feeling you get when you are with someone from another culture and they do something that is so utterly preposterous that you cannot believe they’ve done it. For example, when I was teaching in China, one day I remarked to my class that the sheer number of government run CCTV cameras made me nervous and uncomfortable — they can find anyone in a country of 1.4 billion in eight minutes using facial recognition software. One of my Chinese students couldn’t understand why since the cameras were helpful, after all. That is a difference in deep cultural: I could not understand her, and she could not understand me.
Culture is passed from one generation to the next taught by parents to their children and absorbed from mass media and classrooms and peers. It changes slowly because of this. We’ve had 243 years to weed it out, and haven’t done it yet. Let’s hope it won’t take another 243 to be completely rid of it.
Racist White culture has warped every aspect of our lives to justify our shift from overt state-supported and mandated racism before the Civil Rights Act of 1965 to systemic racism after it. We’ve seen it warp everything from states’ rights to religion, from assumptions about athletics and music (Black people are naturals, don’cha know) to policing practice (Blacks are inherently threatening so can be shot on sight), and from family structure (Black men abandon their families) to proper gainful employment and education (Black people should have subsistence jobs and minimal education). In all aspects of our lives, Black Americans are hampered because of the color of their skin and the white attitudes towards them, and white people find many inventive ways to warp their thinking not only to justify it but to ignore its existence. That’s the power of deep culture. You don’t even know its there.
Trump’s Big Lie about the Election and White Supremacy
Smarter people than me have pointed out pointed out that Black Americans delivered the Senate and Presidency to Democrats and essentially saved democracy from the party supporting single-party pseudo-democratic minority rule and white supremacists tried to destroy our democracy.
Trump’s extended assault on the election is an expression of his personal racism and it feeds the racism of MAGA Nation. Losing was a narcissistic wound for Trump, but losing because of the Black vote made the wound deeper, more painful, and much more difficult to heal. To overturn the election, he has attempted to disenfranchise the Black vote in the swing states through the courts and through the actions of state election officials. They have been very explicit about which counties they want to disenfranchise.
The failure to disenfranchise the Black vote so enraged Trump and MAGA Nation, that they’d rather have authoritarian rule than allow Black people to decide the outcome of an election, so they attacked Congress seeking to hang VP Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and likely shoot every Democrat. That sounds like a group that we should seek national unity with and healing.
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